By Emily Goss
“Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
It’s in there, in black and white, and I almost read right by it.
Surely, God didn’t mean all, as in every situation. I feel certain there must be a clause that let’s me out of this one.
But nope, it’s in there. That three letter word that makes sure there is no gray area: all.
Maybe I’m alone in this, but for me, the big glaring situations aren’t that difficult for me to give thanks--
A giant disappointment;
God clearly shutting a door;
Someone walking out of my life…
I can usually find something in those situations, no matter how small, to be thankful for.
Most often, it is the small, sneaky, day-to-day circumstances that I allow to creep right by me.
Like when my alarm is set and doesn’t go off, and I’m rushing to get out the door when I realize I’ve forgotten to sign my child’s permission slip… then the car doesn’t start.
It’s in situations like these that I’m more likely to mutter frustrations under my breath, rather than thanksgiving.
About a week ago, our family came down with a nasty summer virus. My three-year-old was not her normal sunny self and we knew something was up. She had been unable to eat much other than saltines, and when I handed her a piece of toast, her face lit up and she said, “Thank you Mommy. I’m always thanking.”
I’m always thanking. That statement has been on my heart ever since. What if we led such a lifestyle of gratitude that people said of us “They are always thanking”...
Not just in the big, or just in the small, but all.
As moms, there is so much to be thankful for, even in the everyday monotonous routine that we often face.
Paul says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12
Let me put this in “Momma” terms: I have learned to give thanks, and not believe I am entitled, whether stuffed or “hangry”, whether living on the best day ever or the worst.
Whether you just won an award for being MVP of motherhood, or you just want to crawl back in bed and have a do-over.
Whether the bank account is in the green, or has fallen into the red.
Whether everything is awesome, or everything stinks.
Notice that Paul says, “I have learned to be content.” Contentment and gratitude are learned behaviors. They must be practiced to become a way of life.
If you are waiting to feel grateful or are relying on your circumstances to make you content, then most likely it will not happen. Gratitude and contentment must become a way of life in the big and the small.
If your alarm goes off late… “Lord, I am thankful that I woke up today. Your promises are new every morning.”
When your car won’t start… “Lord, thank you that I even have a car. Most of the world does not have this luxury and I trust you will provide a way to fix it.”
When the bank account is low… “Lord, you are a God of abundance and I am thankful that I get to see your hand of provision.”
When contentment and gratitude becomes a way of living you will find that you truly are always thanking.
Word of the Day:
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Jesus, thank you for making a way for me to have relationship with you. Thank you for the cross. I have so much to be thankful for. Enable me to always be grateful in the big and small of life. Amen.